It’s been a year! We have lived in London for a year!
Today is the day when, one year ago, we emerged from the doors of our airplane after a red-eye to Heathrow. We collected Zeke from the Animal Reception Centre and took the world’s largest Uber to Angel, an area in London. We dumped our suitcases on the sidewalk. I stayed with Zeke and the suitcases while David figured out how to get inside our apartment. It took so long that I told Zeke, “This is where we live now.” I meant the sidewalk, not London.
I’ve just returned from Paris. I am still incredulous that I can go to places like Paris on the train in less than 3 hours. My dear friend and bread twin, Amy, braved the international airways all the way from Washington, DC to meet me there. Naturally our goals were to consume bread in all its forms: baguettes, croissants, pastry… as well as to see all the art. Oh, how we ate! Oh, how we drank! Oh, how we saw! Oh, how we walked… and walked… and walked. Continue reading “Levain: the long rise”
Hello from my home studio filled with linseed oil smells, podcasts, to do lists, piles of papers, and half finished paintings!
It’s in this space that I solve painting problems like the weird, shiny shape that has taken over the background in my painting, or… how do I make Costco’s aluminum foil look sexy? Why does my brain sees two colors at once? (It’s red and yellow, which is entirely different from orange.) And then the constant crisis: what does it all mean? When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I find myself here in my studio to make a list or a schedule or a spreadsheet. While I don’t want to only write about mental health struggles, here I am again. Perhaps it’s a side product of moving to a new country as an introvert who is struggling to find a job? Perhaps writing helps me sort it a bit more.
Much like my beloved spreadsheets, worksheets organize data and help you to learn while filling them out. As an artist who likes to her use hands to learn things, they’re pretty helpful. Math problem sets taught me differential equations and calculus. I meticulously drew the areas under the curve and watched the magic of variables falling away to offer answers to the chaos. These days the chaos is in my own brain, and I’ve found a therapist who is helping me with breathing exercises, new thought patterns, and worksheets for my anxieties. My goal is to allay my social anxieties so as to be more confident in myself and career.
Today is a good day. And I’ve been having a lot of those recently. I can feel my brain being healthier. Last Friday we looked at my Worry Journal together and laughed at two entries: “new American president” and subsequently “bagels.” Current politics are not helpful for someone with anxiety right now. These anxieties have moved from the “potential” to the “current” column on my worksheet. For someone who needs to do things with her hands, this felt impossible. Continue reading “Anxiety worksheets”
This last weekend was our first turkey dinner of thanks in London. My lovely friend, Amy flew in for a long weekend, and David took Thursday and Friday off so we could have a proper weekend. We were a little island of American celebration.
I loved that we decided to declare a holiday for ourselves. I need to do that more. I need to choose that today, this day, is a good day, and I can celebrate and remember what’s good. And make food to share with my friends. Unsurprisingly I have been struggling with the Depression Fog here in London. I knew it would happen and spent a lot of energy the first half of 2016 preparing for it. When my life is full of changes (like moving to a new country), questions (like When will I get a job? What am I doing with my life? Do I want to go outside today? No. It’s too cold), and having the work of making all new friends, I can struggle. Continue reading “Thankful in London”
It’s been awhile. October is well upon us; and it is a strange combination of familiarity and homesickness. I’m starting to no longer notice anyone’s accents.
The crisp air and equally crispy leaves on the ground feel like home. I always, always missed fall the most when I was in California. It smells like autumn here. The light also has that cold, golden glow. The weather is almost the same as Virginia except a bit more mild and grey. The summer’s aren’t as hot, and the winter will see less snow.
I’ve wanted to blog my beer recipes for a long time, and this beer feels especially apropos to the times. I talked about brew day, but wanted to share our recipe once we had actually tasted it…
If you know me, you know I love talking about beer. David runs a tight ship on brew day: he knows all the procedures, keeps everything sterile, and adores the intricacies of the mechanics. I like to think of him as our head brewer; I am the brew master. I design our recipes and make sure everything will work out well with my spreadsheets and research. We like to imagine ourselves as a tiny brewery, but Zeke dog thinks we’re incredibly boring when we make beer.